RE: GPL Violation of 'sveasoft' with GPL Linux Kernel/Busybox +code

From: David Schwartz
Date: Tue Nov 09 2004 - 15:24:29 EST

> David Schwartz wrote:
> > They don't stop you, they just restrict you.
> They restrict you from getting new updates, they don't restrict you from
> distributing.

Umm, they restrict you from distributing. You don't get new updates if you

If I say to my son, "if you hang out with people I don't like, I won't let
you use the car". This is a restriction on his hanging out with who he likes
and his using the car. If I promised not to put any further restrictions on
*either* his hanging out with who he like *or* his using the car, I'd be
violating my promise by the restriction.

> The GPL says, "You may not impose any further restrictions on the
> recipients'
> exercise of the rights granted herein." Note the "granted
> herein" part. They
> can put all kinds of other restrictions on anything else, as long
> as they don't
> keep you from excercising your rights to modify and/or
> redistribute the code
> released under the GPL.

Exactly. But by conditioning the receipt of updates on failure to
distribute, they restrict distribution. (They also restrict the distribution
of updates, of course.) Any restriction of the form "If X, then Y" restricts
both X and Y.

I can't imagine what would constitute an "additional restriction" if this
isn't one.

> > Look, this really is simple. When the GPL talks about "additional
> > restrictions", it doesn't mean the restrictions found in the
> > GPL. It means
> > restrictions found elsewhere, such as in private contracts. (Where else
> > would the restrictions be?!)

> I believe you have misunderstood the GPL. They only disallow further
> restrictions on the rights that the GPL grants. They don't say
> anything about
> other contracts or obligations.

Yes, they do. The whole point of the "additional restrictions" clause is to
*prohibit* other contracts or obligations that act to restrict your ability
to exercise the rights under the GPL.

If not to prevent other contracts or obligations that act as restrictions,
what purpose does the GPL "additional restriction" clause serve?!


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